As my kids get older and my status as single mom changing with the blending of my family with my fiancé and his pug (Hi Audrey!), I decided I wanted to start a new yearly tradition: a solo road trip, just me and my kids. Alone. Gulp. This year, I had my geography-loving 10-year old son pick three places within reasonable driving distance from our home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and then the rest of us would vote. And so, after his fabulous PowerPoint presentation (his idea, not mine) to help ensure his sisters were making informed choices with their...Read More
Tag: summer activities
This summer we’re borrowing a page from the Southwest with gorgeous, totally fun cactus crafts for kids. If you ask me, it’s one of the most DIY-able plant inspirations out there and kids seem to love them. So I’ve rounded up 7 of the coolest cactus crafts for kids to try their hand at; perfect for the backyard under a shady tree in the summer, or for indoor crafting when the weather starts getting cooler. Because fortunately, these cactus crafts can survive in any climate Top image: Pet Cactus Rocks | Best Ideas for Kids Related: 11 fun and easy flower...Read More
New on Netflix for families in August: Top picks from cute kids’ cartoons to kitschy 80s classics to Sing! (Whoo!)
If your family is like mine, summer nights are more often Netflix and chill (like, actually chilling, not a euphemism) than theater and $7 snacks. So, I thought I’d look ahead to the next month and round up what’s new on Netflix for families in August so we can map out some fun viewing time, beat the late summer heat, and save a few bucks by popping our own popcorn. Of course the big release this month is Sing! (at very top), the Golden Globe-nominated kids’ movie that’s full of recent pop songs with impressive performances. I’m a fan, and my...Read More
Sometimes, I think kids have a button in their heads –like in the movie Inside Out — and it gets pressed whenever they see water. When activated, it’s like this button overrides all rational thought with POOOOOOOL! the second they see one. That’s why it’s important to etch some essential pool rules for kids into their brains from moment they’re old enough to step into the shallow end without you — so they’ll remember and adhere to important safety rules, no matter how immersed in splashy fun they might be. While we’ve put together 11 pool safety tips in the past, we’re condensing here...Read More
We’ve got 8 cool summer coloring pages for teens and tweens that they won’t roll their eyes at. (Maybe.)
We’re all about awesome printable coloring pages, especially if they’re free, and the designs are cool enough that even our most cynical teen and tween artists can appreciate them. These 8 summer coloring pages are just perfect because they celebrate the magical things about summer — lightning bugs, flower wreaths, chilly lemonade, and of course, enough free time away from homework to actually create some artwork. Sounds like the perfect summer pastime to me. At top: Free Floral Flag Printable | Canary Jane Related: 16 fabulous, famous women coloring pages celebrating our favorite boss ladies. We’ve finally found some beautiful...Read More
It’s that time of year again: Shark Week! Which is a favorite of ours around here. And it’s become a bit of a tradition for us to round up our favorite shark picks for kids. This year, we couldn’t help but notice how many awesome kids’ shark shoes there are. (Seriously, do they make these in our sizes too?) So here are our very favorites. Be sure to snatch up a pair this summer. Just don’t go dangling them off any boats. At top: Joules Shark Flip Flops | Nordstrom CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Hey, swimmers! Scare your...Read More
During these dog days of summer, when there’s really no other word to describe the heat but “blergh,” we parents have to think way beyond the sprinklers and water balloons that we’ve been relying on to keep our kids cool (and occupied). It’s time to seriously up the ante with summer ice activities. And when we started looking around, we found some really creative, smart ideas. They’re science-y, pretty to look at, fun to play with, easy to clean up, and — importantly — chilly to the touch. Let’s do this. At top: Go Fish Water Play | Let...Read More
Lanyards are a summer camp mainstay — remember making them back in the day? But like so many things from our own childhoods, these knotted summer crafts have only gotten way cooler. Lanyards (also called scoubidous, scoobies, boondoggles, scooby doggles, gimps, and rexlaces, among other things, which makes for an interesting Googling experience) are made with strips of flexible, colorful plastic, resulting in neat designs. After poking around and trying some out — see the ones at the very top, I did those with zero experience; cool, right? — I settled on these tutorials for the coolest lanyard patterns...Read More
If you thought Michael Phelps racing a great white was the summer’s biggest shark-in-a-pool news, that’s because you haven’t seen this hot water accessory yet. Yes. It’s a wearable shark fin. We know our own aquaphiles will get themselves into a frenzy the second they see them, so be prepared if you’ve got a kid reading over your shoulder right now. Related: The coolest pool floats for the whole family (dibs on the chocolate donut) Just know the shark fins aren’t flotation devices, they’re scare-your-friends-in-the-pool devices, made with lightweight foamy material and adjustable straps to fit swimmers of all sizes....Read More
Beach reads are one of the greatest things about summer — whether or not you actually make it to the a beach. To help you find your next great literary escape, I checked out the top 10 most-read books on Amazon this week a new list they’ve started publishing. It’s fantastic for finding a change from your standard genre, discovering a hot new author, or rediscovering an older one. The latest fictional books on the Amazon list include page-turning thrillers, best-selling children’s books, and even a must-read (or must-reread) classic, and we’ve got a little more about each of them....Read More
When researching our post about the coolest water activities for your yard, I noticed something pretty awesome: pool noodles are the hot crafting supply of the season. Maybe it’s because they’re only $1 each (or less) at dollar stores, or because their versatile texture are ideal for shape-shifting, but whatever the reason, cool pool noodle crafts for kids are everywhere. And they are awesome. From games and activities to art and decor, here are some of the most creative uses of pool noodles we’ve ever seen. At top: Pool Noodle Printing | Alisa Burke Related: Fun summery crafts for...Read More
Sometimes it’s the little things that make your vacation really special … and sometimes it’s the huge splurges you’ll remember forever. If that’s what you’re looking for on your next vacation, check out these five luxury resorts and hotels with some incredibly outrageous kids’ packages and amenities. Like, we’re-a-whole-lot-jealous amenities. Yes, they’re all over-the-top. But if you’re celebrating a special birthday, a huge accomplishment, or a massive tax refund (ha), these family-friendly resort packages could end up making for the family experience of a lifetime. Just be sure to check with the hotel or resort concierge before planning, to...Read More
Kids like rocks. Kids like painting. Kids like giving gifts. So it’s pretty brilliant for Creativity for Kids/Faber-Castell to come out with the brand new Hide & Seek Rock Painting Kit which brings all three together. Admittedly on first glance I was like, okay, someone found a way to sell you rocks and paint. But then, I am a big fan of random acts of kindness. So the company sent over a press sample, and right away I could tell it was way more special. Not only does it come with everything you need including the brushes, but there are...Read More
If your kids are headed to sleepaway camp — or already there — you’re probably already planning out a great summer care package, filled with items your kids will love, to help ease the anxiety, keep them busy during quiet hours, help them make friends, or just make them even happier campers than they already are. But with a lot of camps banning the sugary stuff or discouraging food altogether, I know it can be hard to think of care package ideas besides gummi worms and Oreos. So I’ve spoken to our resident sleepaway camp parents, and we’ve put together...Read More
On Tuesday, July 4th, we celebrate America’s birthday. And ain’t no party like a 4th of July party because a 4th of July party don’t stop! That is, if you make sure to have plenty of food, festive cocktails, and plenty of fun. Don’t worry, we’ve got you families covered. Here, I’ve put together dozens of fun 4th of July activities for families that will make America’s 241st birthday one to remember. Related: The hip, historical t-shirts for kids we’re obsessed with right now 1. Keep the kids busy in the morning with loads of fun 4th of July crafts,...Read More
We’ve seen so many 4th of July crafts over the years, and admittedly, my own bag of craft tricks for the kids can use some freshening up. So I’ve scoured the web and tracked down some really creative (and relatively easy) 4th of July crafts for kids who have outgrown the kinds of things they did in preschool. In fact, they probably haven’t made most of these before, making them that much more exciting. Whichever you pick, you really can’t go wrong. From string art, to wind chimes to creative jewelry making, one thing I can guarantee is that...Read More
Do you like July 4th parties? I like July 4th parties. I mean, what’s not to like? Sparklers, hot dogs, watermelon, friends — and I don’t have to wrap any gifts! If you’re planning on hosting a shindig — or just bringing something to a July 4th potluck — I’ve found these fun July 4th party supplies to help amp up the festivity quotient. Besides wearing top-to-bottom red, white and blue. And why not? It’s the one day a year you can do it without looking like a campaign convention delegate. Printable July 4th Party Paper Stars –...Read More
Today on Spawned, guest host Stacie Billis joins Liz for a great chat that should put all you first-time sleepaway camp parents — or future sleepaway camp parents — at ease. Well, mostly. Tune in for tips like when to know your kid is ready for camp, how to decide if camp is right for you, a few sleepaway camp packing tips to help make things easier, what to do if your child has food allergies, care package ideas the whole bunk will love — and even tips for getting kids to write those letters they should be writing...Read More
This is a new take on the old idea of positively rewarding your kids. It’s 2017. It’s a new type of merit badge.Read More
If your kid is going to sleepaway camp this summer — especially if it’s for the first time — your family is probably dealing with a lot of organizational kerfuffles right about now. Not the least of which is packing. Even though your camp will send its own checklist of “what to bring” and “what not to,” you’re still going to have plenty of questions. So we rounded up some sleepaway camp packing tips to help make it all much easier. That way, there’s less time to worry, and more time for what really matters: Lots of pre-camp hugs....Read More
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